In Sales with a purpose, I touted that fundraisers can find success simply because of the passion for their organization. If passion were all that was needed, then there would be no need for development teams.   Executive Directors, Program Coordinators, and volunteers have similar passion. However, it takes more than passion, donors still need to be asked.

When I was at Enterprise Car Sales, I learned there was about a half dozen reasons why people buy a car: safety, performance (bells & whistles), image, etc. Once I understood the reasons (or motivators) why the customer was on our lot, I had specific features about buying from Enterprise and different vehicles that I could talk about. As I spoke to these features, I catered an “impact” statement based on the customer’s motivation. If I did this enough, then to ask for a bill of sale was natural, but I still had to ASK!

As I progressed into outside sales, there were a handful of reasons why people needed my product and reasons to buy through my organization. Again, I worked to understand these reasons (motivation) and prepare “impact” statements in response to stated motivation. Because I had clarified the reasons and I had prepared responses I had practiced, I sounded professional and I didn’t waste my customer’s time with details that were of no interest. Like any professional, I had my toolbox, listened to what was important to my customer, and used only the necessary tools.

As I began talking to donors, there were a handful of reasons why donors gave and most of them had stories to go with those reasons. These stories became my “impact” statements. For each reason why people donate, I had 2 or 3 stories that I could share. One colleague told me that we are not salespeople, but just great storytellers.

Knowing and practicing the stories allowed me to better demonstrate my passion for the Red Cross, making it easier to ask for a contribution. I still had to ask. The State University of New York – Albany researched why people donate. The #1 reason was because someone they knew ASKED!

In a roundtable discussion, identify the reasons why people support your organization. Then fill your toolbox with impact statements/ stories around those reasons. Remember to ASK for the donation.

More ways to fill your toolbox in the next post.

To motivate donors, don’t forget to ASK!
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